The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Port Neches-Groves head football coach Brandon Faircloth said Thursday that he hasn’t been contacted about the head coaching vacancy at Odessa Permian, hasn’t given the job any thought and isn’t sure he would even consider it if contacted.
Because of his Permian background, Faircloth figures to be among coaches considered as a possible replacement to legendary Panther coach Gary Gaines. Gaines, who will forever be linked to the book and movie Friday Night Lights, resigned Tuesday, after his second stint as Permian head coach.
Faircloth has been hailed for his work as Permian’s offensive coordinator from 2006 through 2008 under current Austin Westlake head coach Darren Allman. He was hired by PN-G in the spring of 2009, Allman left Odessa for Westlake shortly thereafter and Gaines agreed to take his old job back.
Gaines wasn’t nearly as successful the second time around, going 23-21 in the past four seasons. He’d gone 46-7-1 in Odessa from 1986-89.
“Certainly, I’m familiar with the people out there and it’s very flattering any time anybody is interested in you,” Faircloth said. “But I haven’t been contacted and am not looking. I love being the coach at PN-G and my wife and kids love it here. There are not many places I’d leave here to take another job.
“I know we’re coming off a tough season, but I believe we have a good thing going here. I’m excited about the future. We’ve put a lot of hard work into getting a program established and getting the things we do offensively and defensively implemented down through middle school and even into third and fourth graders into junior football.”
Faircloth’s four-year record at PN-G is 28-18. His first team went 10-0 in the regular season on the way to an 11-1 mark. His Indians went three rounds deep into the playoffs in 2010, and finished 8-5. They were 7-4 in 2011, then fell off to 2-8 this past season.
“Last year was disappointing, but not discouraging,” Faircloth said. “I’m excited and optimistic about the future. I really love Southeast Texans and enjoy coaching at PN-G. The thing about going back somewhere that you coached in the past is it’s not going to be the same situation. Permian would be different than it was in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
“When you are younger you might chase around a little bit. At this point, I don’t think I need to do that.”
The Permian opening was posted on the school’s website Wednesday and, under law, must remain for 10 days. Athletic director Todd Vesley told the Odessa American that he intend to move quickly in replacing Gaines.
“This is a community hire. It’s important for the community,” Vesley told the American. “We want to get the best person for our athletes, the best person for our programs and the best person for our community. When you put those three things together, that is a tough bill to fill.”